When a couple cannot stay in a marriage and need to fully dissolve their relationship, they will turn to divorce. If a couple cannot come to terms with alternative dispute resolution, divorce can be a lengthy, complex ordeal. If you are facing a divorce, you need skilled and experienced legal support on your side. Understanding the road ahead is in your best interests and we are here to help. If you need quality legal services from an effective and attentive attorney who can help you through every step of the divorce process ahead, contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc.
The Divorce Process
Not all divorces follow the same path, but it is always best to know what may lie ahead. Depending on your situation, the following may apply to you. More importantly, you should always discuss your options with an attorney when facing such a significant legal matter. Our firm understands that this an impactful situation for you and your family and we will do everything we can to help.
To get a divorce in New York State, you will have to satisfy the residency requirements so that a court can establish jurisdiction and hear your case. The residency requirements in New York State are as follows:
- You or your spouse have lived in the state without interruption for a minimum of two years
- You or your spouse have lived in the state in the year before the divorce case and you either got married in NY, lived in NY as a married couple, or the grounds for divorce occurred in NY.
- Both spouses are residents on the day of filing.
Grounds for divorce
The next step is to state grounds for the divorce. Fortunately, New York is a no-fault divorce state. This means that you can get a divorce and avoid the pitfalls of contested fault grounds. No-fault grounds can be used when one cites an irretrievable breakdown for a period of 6 months or more prior to the commencement of the action for divorce. Though no-fault grounds are the most utilized, you are welcome to cite fault grounds as well. Below are the acceptable grounds for divorce.
- An irretrievable breakdown of a marriage for at least 6 months
- Cruel and inhuman treatment
- Divorce after a legal separation agreement
- Divorce after a judgment of separation
Starting the process
The divorce process starts with a Complaint for Divorce. In this document, you will state grounds for the divorce and the support you may need, if any, to continue the process. Some relief can include child support, child custody, spousal maintenance, and legal fees. This helps dependent spouses protect themselves from financial intimidation and allows them to get the help they need if divorce is their only option.
Discovery & Compliance Conference
Discovery is one of the longest parts of the divorce process. Parties will exchange information with each other and the court to establish a clear picture of the financial situation of the marriage and the impending split. Each spouse will share sensitive financial documents, including net worth statements. Once completed, the parties will engage in the Compliance Conference. The Compliance Conference ensures that all parties have the information they need to move forward with the trial.
If a trial cannot be avoided through alternative dispute resolution, parties will meet in court. The trial will address contested issues. If a couple can on the terms of certain issues outside of court, the trial may be shorter. Once parties complete their arguments, the judge will decide on the matters at hand.
Finalizing the divorce
Once the trial is complete, a judge will decide on contested topics and issue a Judgment of Divorce. This document will detail the judge’s decision and obligations of both parties. Either party may appeal the case. In the future, both parties may request modifications or enforcement orders, depending on the situation.
Contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc.
Our firm understands the hardship and burden one faces when divorce is a reality. Our effective legal services and compassionate guidance can help you mitigate the pitfalls of divorce and ease you into the next chapter of your life. If you need a law firm that is committed to protecting your interests through the divorce process, contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. for a consultation.